Printed letters, July 9, 2010

I would like to speak out in favor of the progress that Palisade has made in the last six years.

The town’s financial reserves have grown from $100,000 to $2.43 million. This has been accomplished while we, as a community, have built a new water purification plant and a town plaza, improved Kluge Avenue and created a mountain bike festival, a bluegrass festival, a farmers market and expanded the Peach Festival.

There are many new businesses, including a hotel, coffee shop, distillery, two new restaurants, several new art galleries and a new bed and breakfast. I know I have left some things out, but I am only illustrating how far we, as a community, have come in such a short period of time.

A small group opposes these improvements of our small town. They are obviously the minority. The results of our local elections are quantitative evidence of that fact.

If you are part of the majority that elected Mayor Dave Walker and Trustees Prinster, Harkreader, Edwards, Bennett, Silver and Krueger, it is time to support your elected local officials.

If you are part of the minority that is opposing progress, please don’t waste the money of our small town in an attempt to reverse the will of the majority.

Our community has a rich heritage dating back over 100 years, when the Kluges, the Bancrofts and the Smiths — our town fathers — were newcomers. They have left us with a responsibility to not only maintain, but improve upon what we have been so generously given.

It is time to accept this stewardship, not fall back to decay and irresponsible management of our assets. As a community, we can continue to pull ourselves up and improve or we can let a small minority pull us down. I personally chose progress and support our town officials.

DAVE HULL Palisade

Volunteer coordinator at VA Hospital will be missed

Change is inevitable, but sometimes it comes too soon. The heart of the volunteer program at our Veterans Hospital has ceased to beat with the retirement of Kris Baugh.

She is an amazing woman who cherished her volunteers. She made you feel special. Her smile, upbeat personality and expertise in her field are just some of the many reasons our VA Hospital got all the recognition it has through the years. She will be missed.

BEVERLY WINDSCHEFFEL Grand Junction

Vermillion and Roan both deserve protection

Protecting the Vermillion Basin and Roan Plateau from gas leasing is not an either/or situation, as The Daily Sentinel’s June 30 editorial imnplied.

Although I agree there’s no “pressing need” to open Vermillion Basin to leasing, the Sentinel’s more lukewarm support for protecting the Roan was perplexing in light of last year’s editorial calling for canceling the Roan leases to keep “one of the last undisturbed areas” from becoming an “industrialized zone.”

As noted then, the Bureau of Land Management called the Roan one of the four richest areas in Colorado because it’s home to rare plants and wildlife, including key mule deer and elk herds and genetically pure strains of Colorado River Cutthroat trout.

It’s a false premise to suggest that the BLM can only protect one special place at a time and that Coloradans have to choose between what you call the Roan’s “unique biology” and Vermillion’s “spectacular scenery.”

Like Vermillion, the Roan represents the best of what’s left of Colorado. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

STEPHEN C. TORBIT, PH.D. Regional Executive Director The National Wildlife Federation Golden

Don’t use derogatory terms for the homeless

Instead of viewing persons experiencing homelessness as individuals with a variety of needs and habits, The Daily Sentinel seems to want to find a single word to characterize them.

Recently, the Sentinel chose to characterize people who don’t have housing as “vagrants” or “transients.” This suggests that these people don’t belong in our community — they’re on their way somewhere else. They’re someone else’s responsibility. That’s not true.

Most people camping along our river are from here. Most have had jobs here. Many had houses. Their ability to hold their lives together in tough economic times is a tribute to their character.

To call those who panhandle “beggars” is an added insult. In a nation like ours, where almost no safety net exists (except for corporations) some spare change (or better, a small bill) can sure help.

NEVILLE WOODRUFF

Grand Junction



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